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CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHERS 
TOWARD A SOCIAL LANDSCAPE 

BRUCE DAVIDSON LEE FRIEDLANDER GARRY WINOGRAND 
DANNY LYON DUANE MICHALS EDITED BY NATHAN LYONS 



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TOWARD A SOCIAL LANDSCAPE 

BRUCE DAVIDSON LEE FRIEDLANDER GARRY WINOGRAND 
DANNY LYON DUANE MICHALS EDITED BY NATHAN LYONS 

HORIZON PRESS, NEW YORK, IN COLLABORATION WITH 
THE GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK 

BKWERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES 



This current book from the George Eastman House of 
Photography was prepared on the occasion of the exhibi- 
tion, "Toward A Social Landscape, " which opened at the 
George Eastman House in December of 1 966. I am indebted 
to the photographers for their cooperation: Bruce David- 
son, Duane Michals, Lee Friedlander, Danny Lyon and 
Garry Winogrand. 

For their assistance in the preparation of the exhibition 
and the monograph, I would like also to thank the follow- 
ing: the Staff of the George Eastman House, with special 
thanks to Alice Andrews, Assistant Curator of Extension 
Activities, who acted as my assistant; Thomas Barrow, Cura- 
torial Assistant; Robert Fichter, Curatorial Assistant; Robert 
Bretz, Assistant Curator of Collections; Carl Sesto, Museum 
Assistant; and Daniel Andrews. 

1966 by the George Eastman House of Photography, 
Rochester, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this 
book may be reproduced in any form, by mimeograph or 
any other means, without permission in writing from the 
publisher. Designed by Nathan Lyons. Library of Congress 
Catalog Card No.: 66-30698. Printed in the United States 
of America. 



INTRODUCTION " we are to confront the meaning of contemporary pho- 



NAJHAN LYONS 



tographic expression devoid of the confusions and approxi- 
mations of past terminology, then let us establish a work- 
ing premise by asking: was a pepper to Edward Weston or 
a photogram to Moholy-Nagy less real than a breadline to 
Dorothea Lange? 

What becomes implicit is that each photographer had a 
specific point of view which is to be understood within the 
context of the pictures they chose to make. While the con- 
tent of their work varied to a large degree, their commit- 
ment as picture makers has been generally acknowledged. 
The fact that each point of view may not bring forth a like 
response for a given individual is obvious. What must be 
considered, however, is the confusion caused by using pho- 
tography as a pawn in the controversy: what constitutes 
the meaning of reality in pictures? Our discourse concern- 
ing this matter has fragmented the photographic community 
into reverently biased schools of thought, and by doing so 
has retarded a much needed dialogue concerning ideas 
which are essential to an understanding of photographic 
expression. 

If we pursue this line of reasoning further, then there is 
an additional question which must be asked: do evidences 
of a natural landscape have greater aesthetic value than 
evidences of what we might term a man-made landscape? 
Picture makers have continuously attempted to perceive 
relationships within their environment. As a result many 
have become increasingly conscious that these environ- 
mental relationships of objects involve associations with 
form on other than purely literal terms. 

Photography has achieved an unprecedented mirroring 
of the things of our culture. We have pictured so many 
aspects and objects of our environment in the form of pho- 
tographs (motion pictures and television) that the composite 



of these representations has assumed the proportions and 
identity of an actual environment. Within this environ- 
mental context the giving of a pictured significance to 
ordinary ob|ects through photography has contributed 
greatly to a shifting graphic vocabulary of the twentieth 
century. Aside from the subjects and objects themselves, 
the structural disposition of the picture itself has undergone 
a definite change which is also, in part, attributable to the 
development of photographic representation. 

This broadening of the source of experience could imply 
that our concept of "landscape " should be revaluated from 
the classical reference point of natural environment to 
include as a referent the interaction of a "nexus between 
man and man, and man and nature." Gyorgy Kepes in The 
New Landscape further clarified this consideration when 
he stated, "We make a map of our experience patterns, an 
inner model of the outer world, and we use this to organize 
our lives. Our natural 'environment' — whatever impinges 
on us from outside — becomes our human landscape' — a 
segment of nature fathomed by us and made our home." 

This might mean that the relationship of objects within 
this landscape could assume a greater degree of signifi- 
cance than we now choose to recognize or understand. In 
the past we might have assessed the work of the photog- 
raphers in this book by using the term documentary or 
social realism, etc. While this might have helped to guide 
and organize our thinking, we should recognize that we 
have only been discussing on very general terms the ac- 
knowledgment of a kind of sub|ect matter reference which 
barely recognizes the challenging question, what have these 
men — these photographers — contributed as experience to 
our lives? 

The reference point, "Toward A Social Landscape," is 
not intended to establish a neo-category. There is still too 



much confusion about what little there is that we think we 
understand about photography. What I am suggesting, 
however, is that our concept of environment and landscape 
expand on the terms that it must. If we lose the meaning 
of an expanding reference point, one which does not at- 
tempt to define the existence of things, but tends to estab- 
lish a greater interrelatedness of things, then understanding 
might exist on less temporal terms. If we choose forms to 
convey something beyond the identity of form (form then 
only becomes a referent), then by this visual language 
which we have implied that we speak and understand, we 
would recognize the significance of photography on idio- 
graphic terms, as representing ideas and not providing 
illustrations for words. 

Therefore the qualitative meaning of object relationships 
seen in the context of a more total landscape would mean 
a shifting of their denotative function. If certain kinds of 
ob|ects establish reference points and the essential char- 
acteristics of the object remain constant but the environ- 
ment we see them in changes, then the object attains a 
symbolic identity modified by the environment, or the ob|ect 
itself might modify the environment. 

If one considers Joe Rosenthal s photograph, "Flag Rais- 
ing on Iwo Jima" and contrasts it with Robert Frank's pho- 
tographs in The Americans where he employs the use of 
the flag in a variety of contexts, the metaphoric use of the 
object becomes evident. 

For a number of years in lectures throughout the country, 
I have suggested the need for an evaluation of what might 
be considered authentic photographic forms. One which I 
have paid particular attention to, and which has undergone 
extensive research, has been the question of the "snap- 
shot." What is generally implied is the state of picture 
awareness of the rank amateur. Interestingly enough the 



snapshot's significance in modifying our attitude toward 
picture content and structure has been quite remarkable. 
The accidents of millions of amateurs devoid of a picture 
vocabulary — which produced an outpouring of multiple 
exposures, distortions, unusual perspectives, foreshortening 
of planes, imbalance — has contributed greatly to the visual 
vocabulary of all graphic media since before the turn of 
the century. 

Within the context of the development of photography, 
the first conscious effort made to recognize the vitality of 
this picture form was the photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. 
Not only his article, "The Hand Camera — Its Present Im- 
portance," written in 1897, but quite often in the leading 
visual journal of the time, Camera Work, he captioned 
many of his photographs, "Snapshot." While this fact may 
be inconsistent with a traditional interpretation of possibly 
one of the most myth understood photographers of our 
time, too much evidence exists to attribute this considera- 
tion to mere speculation. 

The mind conditioning aspects of visual persuasion are 
so much in evidence today that we should not overlook 
how we have been conditioned to look at and understand 
pictures. The incorporation of concern has developed from 
defensive ground, tucked away and cataloged: documen- 
tary, snapshot, realism, pictorial — a hodge-podge of ter- 
minology that has provided a refuge for the inadequate 
as well as a misunderstanding of ihe significant. 

I do not intend to suggest that this view that I have 
adopted is shared by the photographers represented in this 
book. Most of them avoid establishing a verbal reference 
to their work. Friedlander on one rare occasion simply 
stated, "I'm interested in people and people things." Wino- 
grand in an interview with Mary Orovan in U.S. Camera 
suggested, "For me the true business of photography is to 



capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film ... if, 
later, the reality means something to someone else, so much 
the better." 

It was in part my research into the snapshot as an au- 
thentic picture form which led me to develop the exhibi- 
tion from which this book is derived. During my first discus- 
sion with Duane Michals, the issue was central to our con- 
versation. In a letter to me some months later he expressed 
the following: 

"Because of my involvement with my photographs, it is 
difficult for me to really see them objectively. Talking about 
them is like talking about myself. The only real idea that I 
have about them is that they are essentially snapshots. For 
snapshots, I feel, often have an inherent simplicity and 
directness that I find beautiful. The roots of my photo- 
graphs are in this tradition. 

"However, I think that the photographer must completely 
control his picture and bring to it all his personality, and in 
this area most photographs never transcend being just snap- 
shots. When a great photographer does infuse the snap- 
shot with his personality and vision it can be transformed 
into something truly moving and beautiful." 

I do not find it hard to believe that photographers who 
have been concerned with the question of the authentic 
relevance of events and objects should consciously or 
unconsciously adopt one of the most authentic picture 
forms photography has produced. The directness of their 
commentary of "people and people things" is not an at- 
tempt to define but to clarify the meaning of the human 
condition. The reference point of each photographer is 
presented as a separate portfolio. The combined statement 
is one of comment, observation, aluminum, chrome, the 
automobile, people, objects, people in relation to things, 
questioning, ambiguity, humor, bitterness and affection. 



BRUCE DAVIDSON 



Born Oak Park, Illinois, 1933. Became actively inter- 
ested in photography, 1943. Studied photography with 
Ralph Hattersley at Rochester Institute of Technology, 
followed by studies in philosophy, and graphic arts with 
Alexey Brodovitch, Herbert Matter and Joseph Albers at 
Yale University. After serving in United States Army, 
free-lanced in Paris and New York. Joined Magnum 
Photos, Inc., as Associate Photographer, 1958; elected 
to membership, 1959. Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship 
to produce photographic study of youth in America, 
1962. Traveled widely producing numerous photo-essays 
including "The Widow of Montmartre," "The Clown," 
"Brooklyn Gang," "England," "Scotland," and "Wales." 
Taught photography, School of Visual Arts, 1964; private 
workshops, 1965-66. One-man exhibitions: Art Institute of 
Chicago, 1965; George Eastman House traveling exhibi- 
tion, 1965; San Francisco Museum of Art, 1965; Museum 
of Modern Art, 1966. 



Group exhibitions: 

1958 Museum of Modern Art. 

1959 "Photography at Mid-Century," George Eastman 
House. 

1960 Museum of Modern Art. 

1962 "Ideas In Images," Worcester Art Museum. 

1964 Contemporary Photographs from the George 
Eastman House Collection 1900-1964," New York 
World's Fair. 

Museum of Modern Art. 

"Sight and Insight: A Contemporary Portfolio of 

Creative Photography," IBM Gallery. 

1965 Profile of Poverty," Pan Am Building. 



White House Festival of the Arts. 
"About New York Night and Day 1915-1965," 
Gallery of Modern Art. 
"Peace on Earth," Hallmark Gallery. 
1966 Underground Gallery. 

"Selma Last Year," Action Theatre, Lincoln Center. 
"The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 
tion Fellows in Photography," Philadelphia Col- 
lege of Art. 

"American Photography: The Sixties," Sheldon 
Memorial Art Gallery. 

"Contemporary Photography Since 1950," pre- 
pared by the George Eastman House in collabora- 
tion with the New York State Council on the Arts. 
"Toward A Social Landscape, George Eastman 
House. 



Published: 

1959 
1960 



1961 
1962 



1963 



1964 
1966 



Leica Photography (Mar) 
The Queen (periodical) 
Photography Annual 
Infinity (Mar and Apr) 
Photography Annua/ 
Ideas In Images (exhibition catalogue) 
Contemporary Photographer (Summer) 
"What Photography Means to Me," Popular Pho- 
tography (May) 

Encyclopedia of Photography, Vol. 6 
Popular Photography (Mar) 
The Bridge, by Gay Talese 

American Photography: The Sixties (exhibition cat- 
alogue) 



The Negro American, edited by T. Parsons and K. 
Clark, introduction by President Johnson 
"The Bruce Davidson Show,'' by David Vestal, 
Infinity (Aug) 
Bard College (Winter) 

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 
tion Fellows in Photography (exhibition catalogue) 

Film: 

1966 "On Your Way Up," for Fashion Institute of Tech- 
nology. 



Plate 


Page 


1. Bruce Davidson by Dan Budnik, 1959. 


9 


2. Muskrat Trapper, N. J., 1966. 


10 


3. Maine, 1965. 


11 


4. Hackensack, N. J., 1966. 


12 


5. Coney Island, 1966. 


13 


6. Yosemite, 1966. 


14 


7. Yosemite, 1966. 


15 


8. Yosemite, 1965. 


16 


9. Central Park, 1966. 


17 


10. Central Park, 1966. 


18 


11. Central Park, 1965. 


19 







■ 



*. ■ 








12 




14 







1ft 



">- : >*?^Bfei.""'%, %5S8»»ii£ 




LEE FRIEDLANDER 



Born Aberdeen, Washington, 1934. Began photograph- 
ing, 1948. Studied photography at Art Center, Los 
Angeles, and with Edward Kaminski. Received Guggen- 
heim Fellowships for photographic studies of the chang- 
ing American scene, 1 960 and 1 962. One-man exhibition, 
the George Eastman House, 1963. To Spain, 1964. Artist- 
in-residence, University of Minnesota, Spring quarter, 
1966. 

Group exhibitions: 

1960 Milan. 

1963 Photographs for Collectors," Museum of Modern 
Art. 

"Photography 63 An International Exhibition," 
George Eastman House. 

1964 "The Photographers Eye," Museum of Modern Art. 
"Contemporary Photographs from the George 
Eastman House Collection 1900-1964," New York 
World's Fair. 

1966 "Contemporary Photography Since 1950," travel- 
ing exhibition prepared by George Eastman House 
in collaboration with the New York State Council 
on the Arts. 

"The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 
tion Fellows in Photography," Philadelphia Col- 
lege of Art. 

"Toward A Social Landscape," George Eastman 
House. 



Published: 

1960 "Lee Friedlander, 
America (June) 



by James Thrall Soby, Art in 



1963 "The Little Screens," by Walker Evans, Harper's 
Bazaar (Feb) 

Photography 63 (exhibition catalogue) 
Current, No. 36 (April) 
Contemporary Photographer (Fall) 

1966 The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 
tion Fellows in Photography (exhibition catalogue) 



Plate 

12. Self-portrait, 1966. 

13. Rome, 1964. 

14. New York, 1965. 

15. New York, 1963. 

16. Stafen Island, 1963. 

17. New York, 1963. 

18. New York, 1962. 

19. n.d. 

20. New York, 1965. 

21. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1962-63. 

22. New York, 1962. 



Page 

21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 
30 
31 



^aggfcatJMJ bwiJi a^-" M 




:;:-: 




39 




40 




42 




43 



DUANE MICHALS 



Born McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 1932. Received Bachelor 39 Tennessee Williams, 1966. 50 

of Arts degree, University of Denver. To Russia as tourist, 40. Automobile interior, 1966. 51 

began phoiographing, 1958. Free-lance photographer, 41. Restaurant booth, 1964. 52 

New York City. One-man exhibitions: Underground 42. Hotel room, 1965. 53 

Gallery, 1963, 1965. 43. Bar, 1966. 54 

44. Subway interior, 1966. 55 
Group exhibitions: 

1959 Image Gallery. 

1966 "American Photography: The Sixties," Sheldon 
Memorial Art Gallery. 

* Contemporary Photography Since 1950, " travel- 
ing exhibition prepared by the George Eastman 
House in collaboration with the New York State 
Council on the Arts. 

"Toward A Social Landscape, George Eastman 
House. 

Published: 

1964 Du(Feb) 

Infinity (June) 

Contemporary Photographer (Spring) 

1966 American Photography: The Sixties (exhibition cat- 
alogue) 

"Duane Michals: People and Places," by Martin 
Fox, Print (Mar Apr) 

Plate Page 

34. Duane Michals by Fred Gorree, 1965. 45 

35. Kiev, 1958. 46 

36. Leningrad, 1958. 47 

37. Edward Albee & Company, 1962. 48 

38. Warren Beatty, 1966. 49 




45 



« 



%-d 




46 




4R 




53 



GARRY WINOGRAND 



Born New York City, 1928. Began photographing while 
in Air Force during World War II. Studied painting at 
City College of New York, 1947-48; Columbia University, 
1948. Studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch at 
New School for Social Research, 1951. One-man exhibi- 
tion, Image Gallery, 1 960. Awarded Guggenheim Fellow- 
ship for photographic studies of American life, 1964. 



Group exhibitions: 

1955 "The Family of Man," Museum of Modern Art. 

1957 "70 Photographers Look at New York," Museum 
of Modern Art. 

1959 "Photographers' Choice," Workshop Gallery. 

1963 "Photographs for Collectors," Museum of Modern 
Art. 

"Photography 63, 'An International Exhibition," 
George Eastman House. 

"Five Unrelated Photographers," Museum of Mod- 
ern Art. 

1964 Contemporary Photographs from the George 
Eastman House Collection 1900-1964," New York 
World's Fair. 

1965 White House Festival of the Arts. 

"Recent Acquisitions," Museum of Modern Art. 
"About New York, Night and Day," Gallery of 
Modern Art. 

1966 "Contemporary Photography Since 1950," travel- 
ing exhibition prepared by the George Eastman 
House in collaboration with the New York State 
Council on the Arts. 

"The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 



tion Fellows in Photography," Philadelphia College 

of Art. 

Underground Gallery. 

"Toward A Social Landscape,' George Eastman 

House. 

Published: 

1954 "Garry Winogrand," by Arthur A. Goldsmith, Jr., 
Photography (Oct) 

Photography Annual 

1955 Photography Annual 

1956 Photography Annual 

1963 Photography 63 (exhibition catalogue) 
1966 Garry Winogrand," by Mary Or o van, 
U. S. Camera (Feb) 



Plate 



Page 



45. Garry Winogrand by Judy Teller, 1 965. 57 

46. Los Angeles, 1964. 58 

47. San Marcos, Texas, 1964. 59 

48. San Marcos, Texas, 1964. 60 

49. Stanford, California, 1964. 61 

50. Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1958. 62 

51. San Francisco, 1964. 63 

52. Los Angeles, 1964. 64 

53. Utah, 1964 65 

54. New York City, 1960. 66 

55. New York City, 1959. 67 




57 




59 




61 




64 




67 




53 



GARRY WINOGRAND 



Born New York City, 1928. Began photographing while 
in Air Force during World War II. Studied painting at 
City College of New York, 1 947-48; Columbia University, 
1948. Studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch at 
New School for Social Research, 1951. One-man exhibi- 
tion, Image Gallery, 1 960. Awarded Guggenheim Fellow- 
ship for photographic studies of American life, 1964. 



Group exhibitions: 

1955 "The Family of Man," Museum of Modern Art. 

1957 "70 Photographers Look at New York," Museum 
of Modern Art. 

1959 Photographers' Choice," Workshop Gallery. 

1963 "Photographs for Collectors," Museum of Modern 
Art. 

"Photography 63 An International Exhibition," 
George Eastman House. 

"Five Unrelated Photographers," Museum of Mod- 
ern Art. 

1964 Contemporary Photographs from the George 
Eastman House Collection 1900-1964," New York 
World's Fair. 

1965 White House Festival of the Arts. 

"Recent Acquisitions," Museum of Modern Art. 
"About New York, Night and Day," Gallery of 
Modern Art. 

1966 Contemporary Photography Since 1950," travel- 
ing exhibition prepared by the George Eastman 
House in collaboration with the New York State 
Council on the Arts. 

"The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Founda- 



tion Fellows in Photography," Philadelphia College 

of Art. 

Underground Gallery. 

"Toward A Social Landscape, George Eastman 

House. 

Published: 

1954 "Garry Winogrand," by Arthur A Goldsmith, Jr., 
Photography (Oct) 

Photography Annual 

1955 Photography Annual 

1956 Photography Annual 

1 963 Photography 63 (exhibition catalogue) 
1966 ' Garry Winogrand," by Mary Orovan, 
U. S. Camera (Feb) 



Plate 



Page 



45. Garry Winogrand by Judy Teller, 1965. 57 

46. Los Angeles, 1964. 58 

47. San Marcos, Texas, 1964. 59 

48. San Marcos, Texas, 1964. 60 

49. Stanford, California, 1964. 61 

50. Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1958. 62 

51. San Francisco, 1964. 63 

52. Los Angeles, 1964. 64 

53. Utah, 1964 65 

54. New York City, 1960. 66 

55. New York City, 1959. 67 




57 




59 




67 



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